Ayesis Clay

Actress, Director, and Teaching Artist

For more information, visit her website or linkedin page.


Ayesis Clay is an actress, director, and teaching artist. Some of her favorite acting credits include Mayme in Intimate Apparel (Anacostia Playhouse), Bud Not Buddy (Adventure Theatre), and Miss Leah in Flyin’ West (CVPA-Suitland). Ayesis has written and produced Standing on the Edge, which has toured in locations across the US and recently premiered her one-woman show, Sculpting Clay or How I Became Mother of Unicorns. She is a member of the 2019 Assistant Director Fellowship for People of Color (Adventure Theatre). For 14 years, Ayesis served as the Theatre Department Chairperson for the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts at Suitland High School and sat on the Prince George’s County Theatre Advisory Board where she developed curriculum for grades K-12 and produced the county’s annual Theatre Festival for over 1000 students.

Arts and Humanities Education Philosophy 

"I believe that the study of arts and humanities is crucial to our growth and development as people. It is so important that we provide opportunities for children and adolescents to experience the world through the arts so that they can gain crucial skills such as empathy, discipline, focus, and creativity. By actively encouraging access to arts education during the formative years, we help build more engaged and productive adults."

Why is Ayesis an advocate for Arts and Humanities Education?
"The first moment that I knew I wanted to become an arts and humanities education advocate happened while I taught at a youth detention facility. I was fresh out of college with a degree in Theatre and was honestly unprepared for the challenges of teaching. When I saw the change in the students as we began to work collaboratively on theatre projects--how the apathy they projected in the the beginning towards school turned to excitement in using their imaginations to create art--I was hooked on bringing those discoveries to as many students as I could."

Partnership with the DC Collaborative

DC Collaborative member since 2019.

"The DC Collaborative gives me the opportunity to make connections with organizations that share my passion for creating meaningful art for and with young adults. The resources and professional development that are offered help keep my work sharp and impactful!"

Fun Fact! Ayesis says "I have directed over 40 productions (most with teen actors), have toured the US and internationally with several different productions (including my own), am a mother of two and am an avid video game player!"

Contact Ayesis: ayesis.clay@gmail.com


Twitter Updates


Mailing: 975 F Street, NW
Location: 923 F Street, NW, #303
Washington, DC 20004
P: 202.470.6467

The DC Collaborative is a FY19 Service Organization grant recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The DC Collaborative is proud to receive a grant for its Collective Impact work supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.